Remote work has become increasingly popular across various industries. Even within legal professions, the options for remote work have so far been welcomed by many.
Interestingly, because of the restrictions placed due to the pandemic, even many court sessions were conducted online in the past few months. “Zoom courts” are novel avenues which are being embraced by many.
With our society constantly changing the way it functions, all law firms have increasingly adopted hybrid working arrangements. This article aims to highlight some important strategies that can ensure smooth and hassle-free remote work.
Incorporating the following strategies will be necessary to make remote work as efficient as possible. Read other important legal articles here.
#1 Online documents and files related to the case
For law firms, case files and documents are very important. They contain all information about the case. Traditionally, case files were stored in physical folders and stored in cabinets at workplaces. However, if you wish to make remote possible, this will be very inconvenient.
It is therefore important to use software and technology which allow files and cases to be stored in cloud-based storage systems. This way all employees will have access to files and documents regardless of where they are working from.
Similarly, in many cases, lawyers will need to file certain documents with courts. To do so they should look into e-filing services wherever possible.
Needless to say, communication is an important factor to consider both in online and offline settings. This is especially important for firms which have recently transitioned from an offline environment to a work-from-home setting.
The lack of communication can cause a lot of hurdles, especially for busy firms where lawyers work on cases together. It’s good practice to decide communication channels beforehand. Having regular online meetings within the team is also beneficial.
Importantly, you also need to let your clients know about the communication channels you will be using. Many clients are used to traditional face-to-face meetups. Communicate with them and let them know how offline arrangements will work between the two of you.
Communication also means setting up proper alternatives when people call the office numbers. Ensure that call forwarding options are put in place so as to not inconvenience your clients who call on the office number.
#3 Consistent training opportunities
Both junior and senior lawyers must always engage with training modules and professional training activities that help them improve their skills.
When people are working in the office, meeting and communicating with each other regularly often helps to stay updated about the law. Moreover, we also learn many technical skills from each other.
However, because this is not possible when working remotely, each professional should devote some time to improve and enhance their skills via training modules.
These Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activities will greatly benefit everyone to stay productive and efficient even while working from home.
#4 Setting goals and making an agenda
When a team of lawyers work remotely, most importantly, they need to set daily goals. In this way, they will be more active to achieve what they must. It may be easy to delay necessary tasks when working from home. However, this will undoubtedly impact the overall performance of the firm.
Therefore, setting clear goals, both daily and monthly goals, can help each lawyer stay accountable and active. This is important when you are working away from your teammates.
#5 Invest in technology
It is next to impossible to work remotely without using technology. Those who wish to adopt best practices so as to make remote working successful need to embrace technology. In fact, many law firms have invested in different kinds of technology that helps them with their work better.
For example, using chatbots to take online enquiries helps firms whose employees work remotely. When there is nobody present in the office to answer enquiry calls, chatbots prove to be extremely helpful.
In this way, lawyers can also spend more time handling their cases and matters. They can tend to all enquiries once they have completed their tasks.
#6 Be flexible
An important point to remember is that each individual has to be open to adjustments and changes. Some might still prefer working from the office and may end up harbouring negative sentiments towards colleagues who are working from home.
In the long run, this will lead to bitter feelings, and can potentially lead to disputes within the team. It is extremely important to be open to different working arrangements and have a flexible mindset.
Hybrid approaches can in fact increase productivity among different legal teams. Therefore, adjusting to new changes will lead to improved results.
#7 Know when to unplug
Often when you don’t have clear hours set for your workday, you might end up overworking. This will eventually lead to burnout. Especially for lawyers who are always on the ball, it is important to set time limits even when working from home.
Your mental and physical health are very important. Allowing time for exercising and knowing when to take a break from work is essential.
As companies shift to work from home models, it is vital for them to keep these important strategies in mind. This will help them with productivity, and handling stress. By making good use of technology and following important best practices, your law firm will be able to excel by working remotely.
Communication is key when it comes to making transitions easier. Always remember to communicate with your colleagues and clients. Whether it is to discuss a solution for an issue, or simply to compliment a co-worker, it is important to always be in touch with each other during a given working day. a In a similar vein, being alert and responsive to your colleagues and clients will make everyone’s remote working experience better.